Tuesday, April 26, 2011

BEAUTIFUL DRESSFORMS AND TAILOR DUMMY

It took me a LONG time to find a proper dressform or tailor's dummy, and one that is not just for draping clothing, but one that can pin fully. While normal dressforms are easily available but not a personalised one - almost unheard of here.  I am drooling over these beautiful dressform, if only they are available here. Photos are from CorsetLacedMannequin based in the UK. If I was in the UK, I'd get this for sure! Too beautiful!


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Monday, April 25, 2011

BEAUTIFUL WORKSPACE

WOW! Short of space? Look at this sewing closet. So beautiful and gorgeous!  Sorry, I found this on the net but could not find who owns it, so if -- just if the owner happens to be the owner, kindly let me know so I can put in the proper credit. I am all for space - lots of them and I wish I have them, but I don't. Mine is definitely much larger than this but still, I admire the person so much for being so passionate and creative in working in such small space.

FREE PATTERNS




Do you know that the fabulous blog grossgrain is having free patterns for one whole month! It's so exciting and for people who sew, new or pro, this is an event not to be missed! Pop over there to see who is giving the patterns, their sewing story and step by step instructions.

This is going to be an exciting month!

BEAUTIFUL SEWING SPACES

Still cant get such beautiful rooms! Look at this ironing space, I had no idea ironing can be so inspiring! Picture from http://www.hgtv.com/organizing/organized-craft-room-ideas/page-5.html, I think I am spending so much time looking at all these beautiful rooms, it has inspired me to re-decorate mine as well!

BEAUTIFUL SEWING SPACES

Goodness me! I am hooked on all these beautiful and creative sewing spaces! This one is from talented fabric designer Heather Bailey. I can stay here the whole day. I really can. Absolutely inspiring!

Love this cabinet and that chandelier is delicious!



Look at those jars on top of the computer table, everything is neatly organised :) I can stay here forever.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

BEAUTIFUL SEWING SPACES - STORAGE

Another beautiful storage idea from Jen's jenduncan. Absolutely gorgeous cabinet! Please pop over to her site to see the rest of her beautiful sewing space and how creative she is :)  Please note I am not owner of photo, just borrowing it from her site to share.

BUYING/SELLING ONLINE

In our fast paced world, many people resort to online selling. I am not a seller but a compulsive buyer - unfortunately :(

My first taste of online buying was fabrics. Loads of them. Way too much of them. Most of them still lay neatly folded for the next project somewhere in my sewing room. Most of these are beautiful fabrics by Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and many, many others. Fabrics you won't find in any shops here but they are sold online locally. At first, I bought from local online shops. I found them expensive, so I resorted to buying them from sellers - still online too- all the way from the US. Despite the wait and possibility of them go missing (have had that before), all arrived in good order and all sellers had been very efficient.  However, with too many on hand and no time to do anything, I've stopped for now.

Next stop: Patterns. Simply from the US because they are not found on planet here. Prices are reasonable when on sales and one pattern can churn out many, many other variations and outfits right? Yes, I am still dreaming of that as with so many nicely folded and kept as treasure, I hardly had the time to sew a hand few...but I am still dreaming.

Then back to online fabrics locally. Whenever I want specific and mostly craft related fabrics, they are bought from the US. Most of clothing fabric are bought locally, and I find the price is very reasonable. If you get them online, well, they will cost 2 to 5 times more. However, I am all for online shopping here as I have bought quite some fabric online here.  Though I know I pay more, but what attracted me was the design and I could not have them in the fabric shops nearest to me. However, be prepared, the quality and what you envisioned may not be exactly what you wanted, but so far, I am not complaining as this is expected.  Most local sellers have been pretty efficient and I get the fabrics max in 2 working days, so good job you guys!

I did have one particular bad experience from a well known local craft/fabric seller in my earlier days. She wanted upfront payment for some pre-order fabrics, which I duly paid. After weeks of waiting - no news, so I wrote to her. Answer was: sorry - no stock, please pick another. It was pathetic because money have been paid but she didn't even bothered to tell me that the stock was unavailable. Ok, no choice, so I chose another but after a week of being promised delivery, still no fabric and no news. I was annoyed and wrote to her, so some sorry was said and fabric came a day or two later. Lesson to seller: it's okay to run into problems at times, but keep us informed.  I never buy from her again.  I am never a back out buyer and ticks me off when dealing with sellers like this.

Another form of online buying addiction some time ago (thank goodness..it's over for now..), was branded online buying, also here from a famous seller. I wrote to book, banked in money and the next day (yes, just next day, not next week) when I wrote about it. I got a message : sorry, its been sold to others because I have an amount (the one I promised to bank in) in my bank but I didnt know who. So, I had to chose something else. Have I learnt my lesson? No, I proceed to buy something else again from the same buyer thinking that was an one off issue. Same thing happened again. Same answer: I had this money but not sure who it was, so I sold off the item.  Never buy from this person again.

I am not a seller but I think selling online for some extra cash is a good idea and why not? However, if you are, response to your buyers fast, tell them if the stock is unavailable, refund as promptly as you would like us to bank in if you could not deliver the goods, be personalized even though we are your no. 1000th enquiries or sales for the day - simple things like this makes repeated buyers like us coming back all the time.

BEAUTIFUL SEWING SPACES

I cannot work in a messy environment. There have been times where the sewing room is messy due to work in progress, but the minute I have am free, I need to re-organise to make things clutter free again. Mess makes me crazy and I feel that my brain cannot function properly and my creativity has been stifled. However, that said, there are people who work well in messy condition.  So, I guess whatever works best.

I have my own sewing room, though I had to share it with my son, so there is a scatter of dinosaurs toys here and there. Still, he occupies a small space in the sewing room  and I do wish I had a much larger room. I drool over those beautiful spaces with a proper cutting table and one with a window will be the icing on top of the cake. While I live in a house with lots of window, this particular room has no window to outside. The other room  is used by the girls for their study and a little small for me. I have been so inspired by beautiful rooms and wish I have something similar. So, in the progress of changing the room, upgrading, updating, re-painting ..it's a long list to do for a medium sized room...I have been so inspiring by all these beautiful sewing spaces. I think if I own one of them, I'll practically live inside these rooms forever.


Sewing spaces from :http://www.tofustudio.com.br/

I love those shelves! Love that aqua table and love the curtain most! If only my sewing room faces our fish pond and it will be perfect!





Seriously, this sewing and craft room owned by Jenny B. Harris of   allsorts.typepad.com. I tell you, I have seen this picture reproduced in so many websites and the moment, I laid my eyes on it, I am absolutely in love! Who wants to leave a sewing space like this! Love that cutting table, and see how organised everything is! This site is one of the most creative places on earth and everyone should have a peek of Jenny's super creative tutorials. Love the colour combination of blue/aqua and white. In fact I have a white sewing room with an earthy brown feature wall, so if I have to re-paint it, I'll paint the feature wall blue.

  Happy creating.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

VINTAGE PATTERN


When I first started to learn sewing, these were the things I looked for:

1. someone to teach me, eg. proper sewing classes, either private or commercial
2. learn from online or books
3. sew DIY from sewing patterns

I was very dissapointed with what I wanted to start off with. Firstly, there are hardly or none private sewing lessons offered. At least not anywhere near where I lived. Taking a professional class was out of the question as I work full time, manage my home and travel extensively.  Secondly,  books on sewing were limited at the bookshop nearest to me, until I went to Kinokuniya at KLCC. This is the only place with the most extensive books on sewing ever, dont bother anywhere else.  Thirdly, while sewing patterns have been around for such a long time (I have one dated 1944!), they are not available anywhere on planet Malaysia. So, that made me think. It means many people are not interested in sewing DIY.I mean why sew when one can easily buy off the rack, right? Just go into any bookshop and you find a humongous amount of books on knitting.  So, I am of the opinion a LOT of people knit, I mean in our hot weather, what's another sweater or two.

So, option no. 1 was out.
Option no. 2 is available, but self learning in sewing is a process. Not something one can master overnight, but still, there was this option available. So, I blew my budget off track after a few trips to Kinokuniya, but I have now some very good reference books to help, plus online information has been very helpful.
Option 3 is NOT available here. Except for one shop in a shopping mall and those patterns are nothing cheap and very limited.

The English sections has very good sewing guide books, so browse around.
However, the Japanese section is a totally different thing-y!  Many Japanese books with patterns! The only thing is - they are all in Japanese. However, the illustrations are very clear and easy to follow.  I do think you need to have some simple sewing skills before you sew.

I have a huge selection of Japanese sewing books and they dont come cheap at all. However, if you look at the bright side....one patterns can churn out unlimited dresses and blouses! That's what I kept telling myself when I invest in a few of them whenever I am in Kinokuniya.

Finally, the sewing patterns.  I have way too many of them. It started off as a vintage collection (like the picture above) and that grew to more than 80, and am still collecting. I am now waiting for my Simplicity, New Look and Vogue patterns from the US.  This is the other down side of ordering overseas, postage takes a long time. Though, I've been very lucky to have all the patterns coming in good order via different batches, I always worried if they do arrive at all as I've had missing parcels from the US in the past, so this is one thing I have to bear with when ordering overseas.  Sewing patterns are GREAT for sewist like me. The instructions are very clear, everything matches up and so far, the sizing had been very close to me. I'd like to do another post on the pattern instructions soon.

Happy sewing!

Monday, April 18, 2011



The object of my desire arrived, or rather was bought and this was more than a month ago. After months of looking for the right 'tailors dummy or tailors dressform', I finally found mine and bought it immediately. For many, one can find mannequin easily either online or at some shops. However, I found that there is a huge difference between a normal dressform and one that is specially for tailoring. The normal dressform or mannequin whatever it was called was a basically a mannequin with a thin layer of cloth covering it. Mainly for display of clothing and the occassional pining since there it is covered with a cloth. However when the shop owner shown me the difference, I was not even hesitant to purchase this baby..whom I called her Sophie..hence the blog name too.  She is completely pin-nable! You can push the entire pin inside this beauty. So, I can chose one that's closest to my size and did some minor adjustment to suit me at the butt but other than that, the bust was a perfect fit. So, I can pin my ongoing sewing garments and also this is what I love most, pin the paper patterns into Sophie, so I know how close the patterns fits me. You can do it with yourself..but can be a bit tricky on your own. I love this tailor assistant and dummy she is not :)